Last week: Lots of thinking on the interwebs

I didn’t get a chance to give a weekly overview of activity on the RE.web last week so I’ll do a quick rundown. Lots of deep thoughts were floating out there last week, the ripples are still spreading on some of them.

Long Tail, myth and mystery

Mary McKnight shook up the blogosphere by claiming the Long Tail is a bunch of bunk and not worth targetting. Ok, that’s not what she really said but that’s how people interpreted it (probably because her headline was “Wake up, real estate bloggers, there is no money in the long tail of search for niche blogs so stop chasing it”). What she really said, inspired by SEOFastStart was:

[B]y always targeting your key terms and writing rich content, you would by default get long tail search traffic too. Kind of blows the roof of targeting long tail traffic, doesnt it?

Joseph Ferrara over at the Sellsius Real Estate Blog first clarifies the concept of a transactional visitor (a visitor who is actually in the market to buy what you’re selling) and then he gives us some nice actionable steps for dealing with the long tail (I did a little bit of minor formatting on this quote).

Generally, since there are less overall visitors coming to your blog via long tail search phrases, and, therefore, less transactional visitors to convert, do not chase (focus on) the long tail unless:

  1. you can cover it in all or most of your market (I don’t think the addresses of your listings is enough.) or
  2. your transactional visitors are using long tail search terms (those hot new developments or new condos) or
  3. your market niche lives in the long tail (”earthships off the power grid”).

I’m pretty sure I’ll wade into this topic sometime in the near future as well.

Who’s increasing their print ad budget?

On a tear last week, Joseph Ferrara then drops “Why Technology Will Lead to More Print Advertising.” A great post on how changing use of technology (i.e. increase mobile usage) will lead to increased effectiveness of traditional marketing (cross-pollination between web and online via the physical environment will yield greater results). Here’s the pullquote:

As the world becomes Wi-fied-ultra-portable-mobile-iPhonish, consumers will be able to easily access online resources from anywhere. If that be the case, consumers can be reading a newspaper, waiting at a bus stop or sitting on a subway, see an ad for your cool online resource, whip out their iPhone, check you out on the spot and sign up.

(As an obligatory marketing side-note, I might add the Union Street Media makes mobile real estate websites.)

Strategy Strategy Strategy

Now that you’ve got a few things to think about, how do you plan? How do you determine what to do? TransparentRE (currently testing variations of it’s template so do be sure to enjoy it) blogger Pat Kitano brings us “Strategic Planning for Real Estate Startups.” Starting with a criticism of in-depth scenario planning (familiar to Art of the Long View readers), Kitano then gives us some requirements for start-up planning:

  1. Creativity to develop solutions that have never been seen before.
  2. Broad based business knowledge to understand that real estate is getting closer to a data delivery and media business and farther from mom & pop brokerages.
  3. Fluid management skills to act decisively and intuitively in the correct direction, and to shift strategies on a dime in an emergency (like Google entering the market).
  4. Industry understanding to see the world from the perspectives of buyer, seller and real estate professional.

Hmmm… sounds a little like scenario planning doesn’t it? The difference? Kitano says to apply it all on “a monthly or quarterly term basis.”